"Teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." — Colossians 3:16
Music and song often express the emotions of our hearts. As our Scripture for today suggests, this is an important part of being God’s people. The writer of Psalm 22 adds that God is “enthroned on” or “dwells among” the praises of his people (v. 3). God has come near to us, and it’s important for us to draw near to him with songs from our hearts.
But what kind of song pleases God? Ancient? Contemporary? With instruments? Without? Actually, these distinctions are not important.
Paul provides three guidelines for our thinking. First, Paul is not talking about singing alone in the shower. He’s referring to the singing and learning and growing that we do together as God’s gathered, worshiping people. It’s in our joining together in song that God is praised and pleased.
Second, our singing needs to come from our hearts. Out of the heart, the mouth speaks and sings. God wants our expressions of praise to be true and authentic.
Third, our communal singing reveals our gratitude for all that God has done for us in Christ. Drawing attention to ourselves is not the goal. The goal is that God’s goodness, grace, and powerful love will be lifted up by grateful hearts joined together in love.